Context: India has decided to join the Artemis Accords, which brings like-minded countries together on civil space exploration.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will partner the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in sending a joint mission to the International Space Station in 2024.
- It is a US-led alliance seeking to facilitate international collaboration in planetary exploration and research.
- It was established by the US and seven partner countries in October 2020.
- Principles of Artemis Accord:
- Not to use space for military purposes,
- A promise to cooperate on matters of safety of space assets and astronauts, and
- a willingness to share scientific data from space missions.
- Members: The Accords have been signed by 26 countries till now.
- China and Russia are not part of this initiative.
- The Artemis Accords are closely linked to NASA’s Artemis programme that is aimed at returning to the moon, setting up a permanent station there, and then using it for deep space exploration.
- As part of the programme, NASA launched the Artemis-1 mission on November 16 last year, sending an unmanned Orion spacecraft aboard its new-age heavy duty rocket called Space Launch System or SLS.
- The Orion spacecraft went around the moon and came back to Earth on December 11 last year.
- India’s sign-up to the Artemis Accords does not mean an automatic partnership in the Artemis programme, but it does open up possibilities of much closer cooperation between the space agencies of the two countries.
- Other Projects:
- ISRO and NASA have already been collaborating on several projects, the most notable of which is the joint NISAR mission slated for a launch next year.